Chennai, Mar 25 : Around 50 players from eight countries, including squash powerhouse Egypt, will vie for honours in the HCL-SRFI Indian Tour PSA Challenger event to be held here from March 27 to 31.
In a release here today, HCL, a leading global conglomerate, announced holding of the HCL-SRFI Indian Tour, PSA Challenger tour to be held at the Indian Squash Academy here.
The PSA Challenger tour is part of the HCL Squash Podium Program, a joint initiative by HCL and Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI), offering Indian players opportunities to improve their international rankings as well as compete against the world’s best players at the home turf.
The tournament will witness participation from eight countries, including India, Canada, Egypt, France, Japan, Russia, Spain and the United States.
The event offers a a prize money of USD 20K for men and USD 12K for women. With a world ranking of 47, India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar will be the top seed in the men’s section and Sunayna Kuruvilla (India, World Rank- 69) will lead the women’s draw.
The other to ranked players included Todd Harrity (USA, World Rank–55) and Karim El Hammamy (Egypt, Rank-59) in the men’s and Hana Moataz (Egypt, World Rank–75) and Tanvi Khanna (India, World Rank-110) in the women’s category.
The first major event to be hosted since the pandemic, the five-day championship will take place under strict COVID-19 protocols. All players and officials will be allowed movement within a bio-bubble (a secure perimeter including players’ hotel and match venue) to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Participants will be tested prior to travelling to the tournament and then twice (March 26 and 29) upon arrival.
To ensure that Squash enthusiasts do not miss out on the opportunity to see their favourite players in action, all matches will be streamed live on SRFI Facebook page and HCL and India Squash YouTube channels.
SRFI Secretary General Cyrus Poncha said the pandemic caused a major disruption in the sports sector with countries sealing their borders and deferring all sporting events to control the spread of COVID-19. This tournament is being organized keeping in mind the Government’s decision to start sporting events, with no major attendance as well as the COVID-19 protocols.
”It is also in line with our mission to prepare the players for the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games”, Cyrus said.